A whole new world
This Christmas brings a lot of changes for our household. And the past 3 years have brought a lot of life lessons we would rather not have had to learn the hard way.
But we are grateful for Grace to grow in spite of sometimes devastating circumstances.
A few thoughts to share, in light of these lessons, and with hopes of reinvigorating this blog:
“Family” isn’t the be-all-end-all value in this life; and most who behave as though it is are likely enmeshed and co-dependent. NOT all is as it seems. In fact .. MOST is not as it seems.
SIN by its nature is INSIDIOUS .. and infiltrates even the best of intentions. And the ways we sin against EACH OTHER can cause sometimes irreparable damage in this earthly life ..
But there is a GRACE that is GREATER than all our sin!
Many “families” have their hallmark moments this time of year, many gathered at one house to share in the plentiful bounty – whatever that may mean from house to house. But just because you see many cars are gathered outside does NOT mean much love and joy are truly alive inside. In fact, I would venture a guess it RARELY means that. There are SO many pretenses, SO many judgments passing between family members of varying ages, SO many EXPECTATIONS as if entitled or “owed” instead of GENUINE gratitude .. (NO thank you.)
As for me and my house, we put higher value on Truth and Honesty and Integrity and HUMILITY and GENUINE Generosity and Authenticity – even with its flaws and struggles – over the gingerbread falsity of keeping up appearances. Give us REAL .. ANY day.
Going “no contact” when dealing with Narcissistic Abuse is THE best way to begin to heal.
PAIN is a powerful force. It can destroy in so many ways. But .. as one of my favorite movie quotes puts it:
“..You s’pose if a wound goes real deep, the healing of it can hurt almost as bad as what caused it?”
Yes .. and so in this way, “pain” itself is not always the enemy. It can also be the necessary surgery that saves you.
OH how I wish I had known even 3 years ago what I know now – HOW to “confront” the breaking of boundaries (instead of reacting to the failings), how NOT to try to “correct” the Narcissist in their “right-ness” (because they will NEVER see they’re wrong) – how to PREPARE myself for things like .. “Flying Monkeys” and “Hoovering” and “Narcissistic Rage” and “the Smear Campaign” .. et al. There is SO much I would have done differently. But some things once done can’t be undone.
IRONY: Over the past 2 years, a devastating [business] situation with a man who effectively crushed and abused us caused us to learn very fast and very hard what MALIGNANT OVERT Narcissism was .. and how to survive and overcome the “smear campaign” of such a wicked and conscience-less man? .. We aren’t fully on the other side of the mess yet, but this “revelation” (and the necessary, dedicated and INTENSE levels of DOCUMENTATION required to PROVE the truth in spite of his lies) shed a shocking and much greater light on the COVERT Narcissism embedded in my own family .. from generations before me. Nevertheless, the crash course we were forced to survive because of a business deal gone bad ultimately provided the seeds of recognition, awareness, and growth for my recovery from the far more subtle overtones that truly ensnared and defined me for so many years WELL into my adulthood. And the road ahead is still a very long one. 😦
At least now I have the words to DESCRIBE the problem, and the growing awareness of how very prevalent and pervasive the problem is (not just for me, but for so very many others!) .. AND how defining it has been in my own life, including in dramatic ways how this has impacted my health, my decisions, my dating relationships (or lack thereof) over the years, and perhaps most profoundly in my “CHURCH” choices and the Narcissistic patterns I can now clearly see overlaying much of the church leadership I was enmeshed with in my previous aspirations to “ministry.”
And thus I am learning greater insight as to the ways in which the “sins” of others (as well as my own!) ultimately KEPT me from seeing God for who HE really is .. and even now I struggle with how to walk by FAITH .. not by my own need for “control” ….
STILL – GRACE and reconciliation ARE possible even in the most unpredictable of circumstances, when there is HUMILITY on both sides. And the HUMILITY – as such a RARE precious gem – is all the more valued when found. 🙂
This Christmas and New Year, I pray you REJOICE IN THE LORD, ALWAYS, and again I say, REJOICE! For he is good, no matter what man may intend for evil, and no matter what evil may have had its way with and/or through unwitting loved ones….
The grace of God can break and make FULLY new even the HARDEST of hearts for all who will call upon him!